Mayman hires ex Virgin Orbit chief engineer Manu Sharma


Mayman Aeroapce has appointed Dr Manu Sharma as chief engineer.

Sharma arrives from Virgin Orbit where he served as chief engineer of flight sciences. As backup chief engineer, he was on console for the most recent rocket launch operations and was the technical lead for a flight-failure investigation team. Now at Mayman he will be responsible for the development of the firm’s VTOL range, including Speeder, a high-speed vertical take-off and landing (HSVTOL) air utility vehicle (AUV).

David Mayman, CEO and founder said: “We are excited to welcome Manu to Mayman Aerospace. He has taken complex aerospace projects from concept to completion, and that experience and expertise make him the perfect addition to our team. He’s an accomplished manager, leader and innovator, in addition to being an expert in aircraft flight mechanics, and we know he will be integral in advancing our aircraft development.”

Prior to his work at Virgin Orbit, Sharma held positions at Boeing, including Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems as systems engineering lead for national programmes. Sharma earned his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Arizona State University and subsequently earned his master’s and PhD degrees in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Reacting to his appointment, Sharma said: “I’m excited about the vision and capabilities of the range of aircraft that Mayman Aerospace is working on, and proud to be playing a part in the development of an aircraft that is already changing the way we think about VTOL flight. My previous roles have given me insight into what it takes to push boundaries, and working on the Speeder program will allow me to apply my accumulated knowledge. I am proud to have the opportunity to use my experience for this industry-changing endeavour.”

Meanwhile, back in February, Mayman announced it was awarded $3m in funding from Strategic Development Fund (SDF), the investment arm of UAE-based economic council, Tawazun. The investment forms part of SDF’s strategy to invest in dual-use technologies serving both defence and civilian sectors.